National Curriculum download

What a business! Had to register on the consultation site. I may indeed take time to respond.

Important tip

Play the video on the consultation site before or as well as reading commentary about the National Curriculum. Here is what is said about English:

Prof. Peter Freebody (PF), University of Sydney: There’s a number of key features, I suppose. One is to do with intensifying the continuity of learning across the school years, rather than having broken-up learning or bits and bobs of things.

When you look at the diversity of schools across this country, the differences — the cultural and language differences that kids bring to their first day of schooling across the whole of this nation — (they) are just staggering compared to most other countries. English has a particular part to play in coping with that, and in working with that richness, and in building on it in all sorts of different ways.

In the primary years, I think there will be more of an intense focus on the use of literature on teachers. I hope it will encourage teachers to deal with fewer texts more deeply, and that will put pressure on them to discuss with their colleagues what are really good texts that will bear that kind of attention, and still be motivating and engaging.

One of the — I hope — most positive outcomes will be that teachers can have a sense of what you can actually do with kids as they grow older, if we have a really coherent and cumulative body of knowledge. Think of the things we can do with senior high school kids with poetry and theatre, as well as with other kinds of day-to-day and school-based textual demands.

What I would hope is that educators across the span — from school leaders, into the classrooms, and so on — would appreciate that it can only get better if they take part in it and have their say, actually have some say about what they do and don’t like: Where are the gaps? What are the things you need to see there? What are the strengths that need highlighting? That is a matter of getting involved.

Here is what is said about History:

Prof. Stuart Macintyre, University of Melbourne: The great challenge in devising the history curriculum is to make it a curriculum that works for a wide diversity of students; that needs to be engaging for someone who might have arrived with their parents from Sudan two years ago, or someone whose ancestors came here five generations ago, and feel a strong attachment to particular parts of the country.

There’s considerable attention to cross-curricular elements. In history, for instance, this is a curriculum which pays substantial attention to Aboriginal (people) and Torres Strait Islanders, and I think it’s important that it does, and that it gives all Australians a sense of those people, their place within Australian society, and their historical experience.

The history curriculum is also, I think, important for increasing understanding and awareness of Australia’s place in the region. It gives greater attention to Asian history than is the case in most schools at the moment.

We will understand history better if we understand it through a world history perspective. It’s that way that we’re going to be able to understand the experience of others, and equally we can use that to illuminate and enrich our understanding of our own history.

Finally, I think one of the big themes of the history curriculum is the question of sustainability. We’re working from history from the earliest times to the present, and we see an extraordinary increase in human population and in human capacity, but we also see consequences that raise questions of sustainability.

The way in which ACARA has been operating means it’s possible for people to go online and see what’s happening, and to make their comments known. Those comments and that feedback are very important as we develop the curriculum.

Here come da stats!

Yes, a pinch and a punch, and a stat post, for the first of the month!


The artwork is from ALL FOR ROFL: ADDICTED TO BLOG STATS — Artist: Marek Haiduk.

Overview according to Sitemeter

Floating Life blogs: February 2010 – 12,239 views from 10,156 visits.

English/ESL: 9,400 views from 7,485 visits – not bad given there are no new posts there.

Neil’s Sydney on Blogspot (retired): 64 views from 49 visits.

Average views per day in February – WordPress stats

  1. English/ESL: 9,157 views @ 357 per day
  2. The old Floating Life Apr 06 to Nov 07: 4,234 views @ 151 per day
  3. Floating Life to December 09: 4,211 views @ 150 per day
  4. Current blog – Neil’s Second Decade: 1,893 views @ 68 per day
  5. Neil’s Sydney Photo Blog: 1,703 views @ 61 per day
  6. Ninglun’s Specials: 1,447 views @ 52 per day

Kevin Rudd bares all…

That could be rather frightening, and so perhaps it has proven: Transcript of interview with Barrie Cassidy.

… PM: Look, I think it is quite plain that one of the problems that we have had as a Government, for which I accept responsibility, is that we didn’t anticipate how hard it was going to be to deliver things. Particularly given the burdens imposed on us by the global financial crisis last year. But that’s no excuse. The public expect you to honour the things that you have said. We’re now about nine months late from implementing that commitment. I accept that.

But I’m determined, Barrie, to get it right, absolutely right, and I don’t walk away from that. And when you’re talking about a system which comprises 763 hospitals across Australia, some 115 million visits each year to GPs, 49 million hospital services delivered to the Australian people, you actually want to get it right. So, we need to lift our game, I need to lift my game in terms of delivering on these undertakings, that’s fair criticism. The reason that we’ve had problems with this is we didn’t properly, I think, estimate the complexity of what we are embarking on.

CASSIDY: And why was that? Why did you underestimate it? Was it political naïveté? Was it inexperience? What led to that lack of judgment?

PM: Well can I just say Barrie, a lot of things will happen in precisely the timetable that you specify, and sometimes there’ll be a delay. If you walk away from your commitment altogether, that’s a different thing. I accept that. For us, that’s been a-

CASSIDY: But is part of the problem- I think it’s your own estimate- you said you put 600 election promises out there. Is that just simply too many?

PM: Well, you’ll find that the vast bulk of those have either been honoured or are in the process of being implemented. We of course have made changes in a number of other areas and that goes to the question that you raise about delivering on our commitments. You know, you were talking in your program earlier today about opinion polls. We are taking a whacking in the polls now. I’m sure we’ll take an even bigger whacking in the period ahead. And the bottom line is, I think we deserve it, both not just in terms of recent events, but more broadly…

Today’s editorial in The Australian is interesting: Continue reading